At Home: Paul Ybarbo's Nob Hill flat

The 1915 Mason & Hamlin piano that takes center stage in Paul Ybarbo’s Nob Hill living room isn’t just an indication of his passion for playing classical music, it’s a symbol for his love of things both old and new.

“My piano teacher had grown up playing it. She’d had it in her family for 40 years,” Ybarbo says. “For me, playing the piano is an escape, and it’s all about me and my relationship to the instrument.”

Ybarbo, a Realtor with Sotheby’s International, had fallen in love first with his 1920s-era building — the Clay-Jones — years ago and was sold on his place upon viewing the open space and classic feel of the one-bedroom flat.

“I’d admired the building for years — and I love this neighborhood. It has a certain buzz and energy,” he says. “The apartment had so much of its original architectural details and integrity in tact. It almost felt very New York to me.”

After moving in this past December, Ybarbo painted the apartment a rich, soothing shade of taupe to heighten its classic look, while highlighting the original moldings and details in the apartment. Throughout the flat, more modern pieces from the likes of Z Gallerie and Ikea are mixed with antique pieces, such as two 19th-century Belgian chairs with their original leather and a sleek cocktail cart that came from the old Letterman Hospital in the Presidio.

Overall, though, Ybarbo doesn’t discriminate on where his inspiration comes from, preferring an eclectic mix of textiles and textures that speaks directly to him. “If you see something that moves you, it doesn’t really
matter where it comes from,” he says.

STYLE KEYS

Design aesthetic: Old meets new

Design highlights: Classic architectural details, opulent pieces mixed with modern lines, a focus on South American found objects and antiques, gothic accents

Favorite Room: The office. “I just love that I can store all my books in there”

Room where he spends the most time: The living room. “I have people over to entertain. I’m hosting a friend’s 40th birthday here in a few weeks.”

Prized possession: The piano. “When I play, it’s an escape. I can think about something other than work.”

Favorite design stores: “I really shop everywhere, from Gump’s to Z Gallerie to antique stores to IKEA and Target.

Favorite design publications: “This is one of my vices: I have stacks of magazines everywhere. I love Architectural Digest, Dwell, Elle Décor, Metropolitan Home and the city magazines.”

   At HomeBay Area NewsentertainmentLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Charles Joseph, who is represented by the San Francisco Public Defender’s office, is facing deportation to Fiji. <ins>(Courtesy photo)</ins>
Giving immigrants a second chance after incarceration

Legislation would allow some faced with deportation a chance to challenge their old convictions

The San Francisco Police Department released body camera footage of the alleged assault on Dacari Spiers. (Via SFPD Body Cam)
SF police officer to stand trial for assault over baton beating

A San Francisco police officer who prosecutors say unnecessarily beat a man… Continue reading

Mayor London Breed announced The City’s return to the red tier for COVID-19 precautions at Pier 39 on Tuesday<ins>, March 2, 2021</ins>. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
San Francisco enters red COVID tier, indoor dining to resume

Museums and gyms can reopen with capacity limits

Cole Odin Berggren, community programs director and drum and DJ instructor at Blue Bear School of Music in The City, holds a JackTrip device, which he says has greatly improved students’ experience of making music online. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
COVID-era musicians beginning to make connections

Software eliminates pesky delay plaguing most systems

Under the new plan, Twin Peaks Boulevard would be reserved exclusively for pedestrians and cyclists until Christmas Tree Point.	(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFMTA board approves new plan for Twin Peaks Boulevard

Cuts vehicle-free space by half. Neighbors say crime, vandalism will still abound

Most Read